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Pyroxene minerals are common in in meteorites and the extrusive igneous rock called basalt. There are many different types of pyroxene including augite, wollastonite, diopside, enstatite, and hypersthene. All of the types contain Si2O6 but some have sodium (Na) while others have iron (Fe), magnesium (Mg), or a combination of these three elements. The general properties of the more common pyroxene minerals, such as augite, are listed below.
- Shape: Orthorhombic or monoclinic
- Luster: Glassy or metallic
- Color: Black
- Streak: White, light green or light brown
- Hardness: 5-6.5 on Mohs Hardness Scale
- Cleavage: Two planes that meet at nearly a 90-degree angle
- Fracture: Most have uneven and brittle fractures.
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The Fall 2010 issue of The Earth Scientist
, focuses on rocks and minerals, including articles on minerals and mining, the use of minerals in society, and rare earth minerals, and includes 3 posters!
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